Julio Child and the Great Chicken Rodeo

°chicken julia

Photo taken by Coffee Pot

So I was having a bit of a bad day on Monday, so naturally I decided to roast a chicken. In a wig. Wait…that’s a disaster sentence. I decided (while not wearing a wig) to roast a chicken (who was not wearing a wig), and to wear a wig while doing it. I was going for a Julia Child look…turns out I looked more like Julio Child!

Anyhoo, back to the bird. I’d kinda been pondering it for a few days. That’s what I do at stoplights. I think about food. Whereas my Huzband uses his time at red lights to ponder the logistics of traffic patterns, I think about what kind of herb butter I’m going to rub on a chicken. To each his own.

So, I had this gigantic 7-pound roaster, and it was just begging to be rubbed with butter. But what kind? Last night while lying in bed, I decided I was going to do a truffle butter rub. But this morning, my heart landed on a potpourri of herbs and spices…perhaps not 11 like The Colonel…but enough to be delicious!

Julio’s Herb Butter
1 stick of butter, softened
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp herbes de provence
1 TBSP chopped parsley
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp dried sage
4 microplaned garlic cloves

Wow…it almost is 11! Mix and stir. Try not to eat. Change this as you see fit. I like it extra salty and garlicky, because roasted chicken is usually so-so in the flavor department. [Editor’s note: after eating it, and thoroughly enjoying it, I must say that the Herbes de Provence is a MUST. You could do without all the other greenery and just use it. OMG—go buy some right now. And use this recipe on your Thanksgiving turkey!]

chicken naked

So, again…back to the bird. Here’s where it gets gross. You know what you have to do to a chicken to get it ready to roast? Violate it in every possible way. That’s why folks buy those rotisserie chicks from the grocery store…it’s a nasty process. It’s like you’re a chicken OBGYN. First, I reached in and grabbed the bag-o-giblets. I know it’s not the lady parts, but it just seems like a chicken hysterectomy. What a treat! I thought about hiding them under David’s pillow, but wow, that’s too nasty to even joke about. Next, I had to separate the skin from the bird in order to spread the herb butter directly on the meat. This is just foul. Hee hee hee. Really…I’m elbow deep in chicken at this point. REPULSIVE. Only it gets even worse trying to get the butter where it’s supposed to go. That’s why you NEVER have folks over to witness you preparing a roast chicken for dinner. Because they would NEVER eat it.

chicken ready

So, it’s stuffed and ready to go, right? Not-so-much. There’s the trussing. I’ve never actually properly trussed a chicken. I’ve seen it done many-a-time; I watch Food Network like most men watch ESPN. But I’ve never done it. And I didn’t really do it this time. I just sorta did it. But I did actually purchase real kitchen twine, as opposed to using kite string…which I have done in the past. So I grabbed my twine, and lunged for the bird.

chicken tie

It was like a frantic, sprinting calf at a rodeo! I tried to loop a leg, but the bird hurled itself from its roasting pan and made a beeline for the floor. I jerked, the bird paused, and victory seemed imminent. But when I tried to loop the tail, the wily hen reared up, pulling a full 180 to render itself truss-less. Dammit! Finally, I just did what every failed Boy Scout does: I granny-knotted that clucker to high hell and said “Good Day, Ma’am!”

Stuffed, trussed, and cussed, my plus-sized bird went in the oven at 350° for two-and-a-half hours. And when it came out…oh my stars and garters. Golden, herb-crusted…magnificent. And the best part…it tasted wonderful, too! I even made gravy…just ’cause.

chicken done

So, the bottom line is this: Is roasting a chicken worth it? Yes. Is it a nasty process? Definitely. Save it for special occasions, ones where NO ONE is around to witness your Frankensteinian handiwork.

chicken final

One More Thing:
David gets extra props because not only did he wait patiently for a late supper after he went to RPM Class, he also cleaned up the disaster I left in the kitchen. My hero! If only he would have been there to wrangle that chicken. Speaking of…I need to wrap this up and go give that salmonella-fest of a kitchen a rubdown with some Clorox wipes… 😉


12 Responses to “Julio Child and the Great Chicken Rodeo”

  1. Ben Says:


  2. judith Says:

    I actually witnessed you en”grossed” in some this chicken mayhem last thanksgiving…of course, no wig was involved. Looks divine…I think I just got a whiff of herbal goodness!

  3. judith Says:

    the sights and aromas must have erased my grammatical skills…should read “some of this…” and “whiff of its herbal goodness” oops

  4. Carrie Says:

    Does Coffee Pot do wedding photography? I like his work.

  5. Jennifer Says:

    What are the side dishes? they look yummy.

    • josh Says:

      i roasted some butternut squash and onions along with the chicken, and then did a bastardized version of Frank Stitt’s Venetian Spinach…sauteed some onions and garlic, added (thawed and drained) frozen spinach, then deglazed with red-wine soaked golden raisins…salt and pepper of course. 😉

  6. Mrs. Carroll Says:

    Oh my – I nearly wet myself reading this one. Too funny!

  7. jill Says:

    josh…you put the butternut squash…cubed in with the chicken when you roasted it…..? That’s all I need to know? It looks wonderful…and this was too funny!!!

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